Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley opened the country’s first Agro-Processing Park in Saunders Trace, Moruga on Tuesday 15 July, 2020. In delivering the feature address, Prime Minister Rowley underscored the benefits of the park to the residents of Moruga, the surrounding communities its environs and the national economy; he said, “Today we have moved the needle from talking about agriculture to doing something about agriculture in Trinidad and Tobago. This park is a catalyst to attract to it, the use of primary products which can be produced in this part of the country in such volume that will require a facility such as this to convert them from easily perishable fresh produce to a state that will make them easily available, appropriately packaged for longer shelf life or get them ready for export”.
Noting the importance of the agriculture sector to the Government, Prime Minister Rowley reiterated the incentives available in the sector. He said “we want to encourage you to stay and invest in the agriculture business, as such whatever investments made by farmers and entrepreneurs in agriculture, the proceeds as profits are tax free”. Indicating that this new investment signals opportunities, Prime Minister Rowley challenged the people of Moruga to use the facility well, showcase their entrepreneurial skills and utilize the incentives provided through the Ministry of Trade and Industry to start businesses to earn and provide for their families.
Speaking on the TT$90 Million dollar investment in the Moruga Agro-Processing and Light Industrial Park, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry said, “This new facility is not simply a government project—it is an investment by the Government, for the people of Moruga and the wider agricultural counties of Victoria, Nariva/Mayaro and St. Patrick East and West”. She added that Park created close to 100 jobs during construction and even more jobs are expected to be created when fully occupied while affording countless opportunities for business. According to the Minister of Trade, “this Park will harness the human capital within this Region by encouraging the transformation of existing farming systems that will now create value-added exportable products with high standards and levels of technology. To date, through the activities of invesTT, more than 50 persons and entities have shown interest in the Park and there are nine constructive leads which are now being followed”.
Minister Gopee-Scoon stated that potential tenants to the park will have access to support services by affiliated Agencies such as the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), the Agricultural Development Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (ADB), and ExporTT Limited.
Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries in his Remarks applauded the tremendous opportunities that this facility presented for the people of Moruga. Underscoring the need for economic activity in communities he said, “If you do not have economic activity in your community, the opportunity for growth and development notwithstanding the quality of education will be minimal. Those who live here and in rural Trinidad and Tobago will understand that this facility is a catalyst for development in this community”.
The Park consists of eleven (11) developed land lots—five (5) lots for purpose-built factory shells available for leasing, while six (6) are developed sites for leasing. In addition to the Park having all the essential infrastructural facilities necessary for conducting business such as an established road network and all necessary utilities (telecommunications, electrical and water supply, drainage, sewerage and a waste treatment facility), the five factory shells are also outfitted with offices and washrooms, and cold storage spaces where needed.